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Full text of "Laser Cutting"

Laser-Cut Book Covers 



Make] Projects 

hhiiilH ho/ 1 !/ tuMaal/ chare r\icf*f\\tat* 



build, hack, tweak, share, discover,- 



Laser-Cut Book Covers 



Written By: Snijlab 



TOOLS: 



• Clear varnish (1) 

Laser cutter (1) 

J f you don't own one, check your local 



3Bi 



Kyc 



fab lab, hackerspace. TechShop. or a 
commercial laser-cutting service. 



Sandpaper (1) 
Wood glued) 



PARTS: 



Plywood (1) 
Birch works best. 

Rubber band (1) 
Notepad (1) 



SUMMARY 

We made wooden booklets, each with a hinge and a notepad holder. The hinge can be fully 
bent in both directions repeatedly without breaking. How is that possible? First, wood has the 
strength to withstand repetitive bending and twisting. It won't break as long as the stresses 
stay under a certain limit. 

The trick to making the wood flexible is to break it up in a lot of small pieces that can all 
twist a little. All these tiny twists add up so you can bend the sheet without stressing the 
material too much. 

Imagine it like this: when you twist a matchstick with your hands, you can twist it maybe 1/8 
of a turn before it breaks. Imagine now you have a matchstick 10 times longer. You can twist 
it 10 times as far, more than a full turn. That's how the hinge we use here works. When you 
look closely you can see that the cuts leave a pattern of interconnected small "sticks." When 
you bend the cover, you'll see them all twisting a little bit. 

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Laser-Cut Book Covers 



There are several patterns that will allow bending. The simplest one is a set of shifted 
cuts. The longer or wider you make the piece, the softer it gets. This pattern yields a very 
springy hinge that you can move in all directions. 

To make the hinge stronger, you can add some tabs in each line. This gives the hinge a lot 
more strength while still allowing you to bend it. 

Inside the cover is a clamp that holds the notepad with two flexible "arms," cut so they're 
slightly smaller than the notepad. When you insert the notepad, the arms press on the sides, 
keeping it firmly in place. 



© Make Projects www.makeprojects.com Page 2 of 5 



Laser-Cut Book Covers 



Step 1 — Download the DXF Files. 




• Download the files from 
Thingiverse 

( http://thingiverse.eom/thing:12707 ). 
Load up your plywood, then send 
the files to the laser cutter. 



Step 2 — Sand the pieces. 




• When the pieces are ready, sand 
them to get rid of the laser-cutting 
marks. 



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www.makeprojects.com 



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Laser-Cut Book Covers 



Step 3 — Varnish the pieces. 




# Varnish both pieces to protect them 
from dirt. Set aside to dry. 



Step 4 — Put it together. 




• When dry, apply wood glue to the 
back of the clamp's middle section 
and position it on the inside of the 
cover. Take care not to put glue 
under the ribbed "arms" of the 
clamp because these need to move 
freely. Put some weight on the 
clamp and wait 2 hours for the glue 
to dry. 



© Make Projects 



www.makeprojects.com 



Page 4 of 5 



Laser-Cut Book Covers 



Step 5 — Insert the notepad. 





• Carefully insert the notepad in the clamp, insert the rubber band in the 2 slots at the 
bottom, and you're done! 



Step 6 — Mod It! 




• Once you've downloaded the DXF 
files, there's nothing stopping you 
from altering them to fit your own 
needs. Go ahead and change the 
shape to your liking, or laser cut 
your name onto it. You can also 
extract the hinge and use it in other 
projects that need some bent wood. 
Happy making and don't forget to 
share your work! 



This project first appeared in MAKE Volume 33 , page 66. 

This document was last generated on 201 3-01 -31 02:57:07 PM. 



© Make Projects 



www.makeprojects.com 



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